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Rauner makes his pitch to Crain’s

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018

* The governor appeared before the Crain’s Chicago Business editorial board today

But Rauner’s list of things he wants to get done in a second term—“my last term,” he said—sounded very much like the things he pursued in his first term. Included: legislative term limits and a legislative reapportionment system that takes remap out of the hands of existing lawmakers; more extensive changes in the workers compensation system to help Illinois manufacturers in particular; “flexibility” for local school districts on things such as contracting and labor contracts; removing health care as a mandatory bargaining issue for state unions, allowing the state to impose terms unilaterally.

Rauner conceded that the current state budget has a structural deficit of an estimated $1 billion to $2 billion. And he said the state badly needs a new capital program to fund road, bridge, transit and other construction around the state, something that would have to be paid for.

How would he do that?

Rauner said he’d save $500 million a year in health insurance costs that state workers unions so far have resisted. He wants pension reform, but said the idea of amending the Illinois Constitution to reduce such benefits likely is a political and legal non-starter. Doing that would stimulate the state’s economy and boost revenues, he said.

The governor rejected the argument that the 3-year state budget standoff proved that fiscal stability even with a higher tax rate is better than stalemate. “Boiling slowly to death is still death,” he said. If Pritzker’s plans to adopt a graduated income tax is implemented, “A lot of your readers will say, ‘we’re gone.’”

He was asked “Isn’t there a value to fiscal stability?” And he answered with the boiling to death comment.

Also, big capital construction bills require bonding and that requires a funding source. And bonding at any sort of decent rate will probably require a specific revenue source, given the state’s credit rating.

* With that in mind, Rauner said this at a different venue…


#facepalm

Nobody ever said that better credit ratings would solve “all” our problems. Regardless of what he says, fiscal stability has to be a goal.

Also, solving “structural problems” to him has always been about “right to work,” eliminating the prevailing wage, etc. But this ain’t Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. Focus on the things you can fix or you won’t change anything. That should’ve been the most important lesson learned during the past four years.

For instance, instead of punting to the General Assembly about what AFSCME can and can’t negotiate in their contracts, just negotiate incremental changes yourself. He took the hardest of hardest lines and got absolutely nowhere. It’s the entire story of his term.

* He also complained to Crain’s about the media not understanding him. For a guy polling so poorly, he should focus on his own job and stop telling others how to do theirs.

The full interview is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments
  1. - Flynn's Mom - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:14 pm:

    His first term was his last term.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    Dear Crain’s

    ‘Nember this? You might want to think on what you wrote.

    “And there’s no way to deny it: By nearly every measure, the state is worse off since Rauner took office.”

    Thanks,

    Oswego Willy


  3. - G'Kar - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:18 pm:

    ==“flexibility” for local school districts on things such as contracting and labor contracts; removing health care as a mandatory bargaining issue for state unions, allowing the state to impose terms unilaterally.==

    Me thinks the governor does not understand the meaning of “moderate center.”


  4. - Dome Gnome - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    I see the words, but what I hear is “another budget impasse.”


  5. - Perrid - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    “He took the hardest of hardest lines and got absolutely nowhere. It’s the entire story of his term.” Preach[exclamation point]

    He declared all out war with unions, and then “tried” to sit down at the negotiating table with them. It kind of blows my mind that the last contract with the largest state union was 6 years ago (I think it was 2012). The union literally just outlasted him -I assume he gone come January, but I am comfortable with that assumption.


  6. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    Here’s my biggest problem with the interview: I have no idea what the state will look like if Rauner succeeds.

    ==legislative term limits and a legislative reapportionment system that takes remap out of the hands of existing lawmakers; more extensive changes in the workers compensation system to help Illinois manufacturers in particular; “flexibility” for local school districts on things such as contracting and labor contracts; removing health care as a mandatory bargaining issue for state unions, allowing the state to impose terms unilaterally==

    That’s all procedural stuff. Maybe his version of workers comp reform means injured workers get less money, or maybe his “flexibility” for local school districts means teachers get less money- but I bet he’d deny that. So all we’ve got is some vague notion of “reform” with no idea of what it means for real people.


  7. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    From that interview I can totally see how Rauner’s second would be completely different from his first. And as for the big mea culpa? Looks more like a teeny tiny mea culpa. But of course it was just a hostage video and he didn’t mean it. He has no idea how to govern any differently than he did the last four years.


  8. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    Bruce Rauner = failure


  9. - dbk - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:32 pm:

    –The governor rejected the argument that the 3-year state budget standoff proved that fiscal stability even with a higher tax rate is better than stalemate.–

    Well, the gov is wrong. Ask Moody’s. Ask Susana Mendoza. Ask anybody who reads this blog. Frankly, ask anybody.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===He also complained to Crain’s about the media not understanding him.===

    Good thing Diana fired the Superstars to get Diana Rickert to help with all that messaging.

    As a white male, Rauner has only himself and “someone” who wanted better messaging and protection of *her* brand that gave Bruce IPI.

    Bruce can’t blame… “The Messenger”….


  11. - Pundent - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    =So all we’ve got is some vague notion of “reform” with no idea of what it means for real people.= For whatever reason Rauner feels that he can’t be honest. He was able to get away with it the first time around but everyone caught on quickly.

    The fact that he would try to run something from the same playbook again is mind boggling. I know that neither he or Diana think we’re smart enough to understand all that he’s trying to do for us but how dumb does he think we are?

    Ultimately I think what he’s trying to say is “chaos is underrated.”


  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Crain’s uhmmm Collectivists uhmmm


  13. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    =Rauner said he’d save $500 million a year in health insurance costs that state workers unions so far have resisted. He wants pension reform, but said the idea of amending the Illinois Constitution to reduce such benefits likely is a political and legal non-starter. Doing that would stimulate the state’s economy and boost revenues, he said.=

    So his approach is to tell us what he cannot do? A bit counterintuitive, but I say go for it big fella.


  14. - njt16 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    ==save $500 million a year==

    Which then goes right into his DPI project, so net, net, net you know?


  15. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===Rauner said he’d save $500 million a year in health insurance costs that state workers unions so far have resisted.==

    That means he is asking every state worker in a union to pay (on average) an additional $12,134.45 every year towards their health insurance costs. An extra $1,000 out of their paycheck every month.


  16. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    === Rauner said he’d save $500 million a year in health insurance costs that state workers unions so far have resisted.===

    Putr this right next to selling the Thompson center.


  17. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    Not a ton of comments on the facebook interview but a large percentage focused on sterigenics.

    I went and watched the full interview. No Rauner supporter should ever decry Pritzker’s dearth of details. Rauner is the king of nebulous.

    No math to support his extreme positions.


  18. - City Zen - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    “incremental changes”

    Like a right-to-work zone?


  19. - Earnest - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    Hmm, he says $1-2 billion structural deficit, need to spend on a capital program, offers zero ideas on raising revenue and thinks a graduated income tax will destroy everything, then says he can find savings of $500 million but goes on to say those aren’t possible to obtain. He talks about us boiling to death but he doesn’t seem to have any other prognosis except perhaps a quicker death?


  20. - K Man - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    And if the current polling #’s hold through election day, Wisconsin may shortly no longer be Scott Walker’s either.


  21. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===He wants pension reform, but said the idea of amending the Illinois Constitution to reduce such benefits likely is a political and legal non-starter.===

    Lucky Pierre,

    Maybe your guy saying this will finally make it sink in?


  22. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===For instance, instead of punting to the General Assembly about what AFSCME can and can’t negotiate in their contracts, just negotiate incremental changes yourself.===

    I wonder if in a decade or so the state is going to be dealing with the problem of being unable to recruit or retain folks because the state has reduced itself to being a non-competitive employer.


  23. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:13 pm:

    How dare those state workers resist health insurance cuts when Rauner’s income more than tripled in 2015 ($188 million) and was $91 million in 2016 (much higher than previous years)?

    How do Rauner and his supporters say what they say with a straight face? No way should state workers agree to such cuts when Rauner rakes in close to $300 million while being governor and causing so much damage. Same with his war against and utter refusal to pay a progressive income tax.


  24. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    == He also complained to Crain’s about the media not understanding him. ==

    The guy is a perpetual victim. If he had spent 1/10th of the amount of time trying to govern as he spent proclaiming his victimhood maybe he could have accomplished something.


  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    == He also complained to Crain’s about the media not understanding him. ==

    Chronic Lying and Babbling Nonsense can be difficult to comprehend and relate to others.


  26. - AnonAnon - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    Rauner can just continue to illegally take moneu from the State employee paychecks to help offset the imbalance.


  27. - AnonAnon - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:49 pm:

    Anon … They already have issues recruiting good employees. The issue was only made worse by this administration.


  28. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:49 pm:

    Just earlier he referred to himself as a moderate and then he makes this speech. What he says just reaffirms what I think would happen if he is reelected, a second term of futility just like the first. I have wondered these past few years why he never worried about paying the state’s bills or seemed concerned about our credit rating. He answered that question today, that it isn’t that important. He makes comments about capital bills but has never been honest about how to pay for it, instead mentioning reducing the tax rate. There are huge deficits and junk bond status in our future if he’s reelected.


  29. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:50 pm:

    Cubs in 16

    Governor Rauner has been on record supporting the Senate President’s consideration pension reform plan for years

    No change of position here


  30. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    “No change of position here” So, he’s sticking with an idea that even he admits won’t happen? Yeah that’ll work.


  31. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    ==So, he’s sticking with an idea that even he admits won’t happen?==

    Pretty much sums up these last four years, doesn’t it?


  32. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    —“my last term,” he said—

    This is your last term, Bruce.


  33. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    “Pretty much sums up these last four years, doesn’t it?” You know, and I know it, and I have to figure LP knows it too, it’s just his programming won’t let him say it.


  34. - Ole' Nelson - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:10 pm:

    Just listened to the entire interview. Crain’s staff was not accepting the bologna Bruce was trying to sell. They kept pointing out that we are running structural deficits and his desire to cut taxes while implementing a giant infrastructure bill were ridiculous. “Focus, guys, focus” is code for stop asking commonsense questions that show the obvious flaws in my false, ideological plans.


  35. - Ole' Nelson - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:12 pm:

    Bruce felt the need to repeatedly remind Crain’s that they are a business publication. They should have returned the favor and reminded Bruce that he is a failed snake oil salesman.


  36. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:44 pm:

    –Bruce felt the need to repeatedly remind Crain’s that they are a business publication.–

    I’m guessin’ that’s why they were askin’ questions about fiscal stability, payin’ bills and how he was plannin’ on payin’ for a capital program.

    Bruce doesn’t get it, because he was in the bust out bidness, not growin’ goin’ concerns.


  37. - Huh? - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 9:11 pm:

    “Rauner said he’d save $500 million a year”

    Can you say “rounding error”? 1.4% of $38 billion budget.


  38. - RNUG - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 11:52 pm:

    == Governor Rauner has been on record supporting the Senate President’s consideration pension reform plan for years

    No change of position here ==

    The version Rauner supports has a default consideration and forced choice. Cullerton modified his bill to gain Rauner’s agreement. If ever passed and signed, that bill be tossed by the IL SC before the ink is dry.

    Cullerton’s original consideration bill was voluntary … but Bruce didn’t support that bill.


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